I still remember the first trip to the Zoo with my first daughter who was almost 2 years old then. The winter has been very long and cold that year and we all were all very excited to get out of town on a warm spring day. Of course, by the time we arrived there, it was time for the afternoon snack and, as I was frantically trying to find a place where we could grab a bite, the reality slowly dawned upon me – it was impossible to buy anything remotely healthy within a 2-mile radius.
On that day, I decided to always be prepared for my planned snacks without having to rely on restaurants and vending machines. Since we rarely purchase prepackaged snacks, small plastic containers and fabric baggies filled with cherry tomatoes, whole grain crackers, raisins, apples and other wholesome goodies became our frequent companions. As a big proponent of eating snacks on schedule, I make sure to serve them at the same time every day, which means that on busier days snacking in a taxi or in the park is the only way to keep hunger at bay in between meals and stick to the meal structure. And because I am an anti-grazing mom-dietitian, I make sure that the scheduled snacks my kids get consist of at least two food groups, so they will not feel hungry till next scheduled meal time.
So when PlanetBox announced the arrival of their brand new Shuttle, designed specifically for snacks and lighter meals, I could not be more excited, except for the day when they sent me my own Shuttle and asked to give it a test drive. The kids loved the smaller size, cute red bag, and retro design. I loved the environmentally friendly materials used to manufacture the whole line of PlanetBox lunchboxes (think stainless steel and recycled polyester) and how easy it is to clean them. I know I am not alone because since I started posting pictures of my daughters’ Rover lunchboxes about a year ago on this Pinterest board and Facebook page, I received dozens of compliments from the readers. I also know for sure that many of my daughters’ friends got their own Planetbox lunchboxes after seeing ours in action in the school cafeteria. I must say that even after taking a two years’ beating, the lunchboxes still look like new. I will have to replace the carrying bags and probably get a new set of magnets to freshen them up and we are ready for another school year! My only request to the PlanetBox family would be to come up with a bag that can be cleaned in a washing machine, but other than that we are very happy customers.
The best part about Shuttle is that it does not only work great for snacks, it is big enough for a breakfast or a small lunch. It is deeper that Rover lunchbox and you can easily pack 2 cups of food into the large compartment and 1 cup of food into the small one (used without the dipper). So if your child has a small appetite or is easily overwhelmed by many different foods, Shuttle can work as a great transition to a bigger lunchbox with more compartments. In fact, I think it can be a perfect first lunchbox for a nervous kindergartener who is not a very big eater. Click here to learn about appropriate portion sizes for kids and food groups for kids.
The first time we used our brand new Shuttle was for a second breakfast as we were heading to a beach last weekend. It was very easy for the kids to use it in a car. We packed a no-mess mini meal of homemade pancakes, frozen edamame, and raspberries. The edamame was defrosted by the time we were ready for a snack.
The day after we got back home, it was time to test our Shuttle again when my 4-year-old needed a picnic lunch while watching her big sister play fun games on the annual Field Day. This time, we used the big compartment for a mini whole wheat bagel with cheddar cheese and cherries, while baby carrots with some ranch dressing fitted very nicely into the smaller one.
I am definitely taking the Shuttle with us on our annual summer trip to visit the grandparents in Spain and Russia. I think it will work great both on a plane and on the beach because it is so compact. Shuttle box definitely makes it easier to pack a variety of food and provide portions that are satisfying. I will be posting lots of pictures on Facebook and Pinterest, as usual, so stay tuned!
Disclosures: PlanetBox sent me this product to review. I have received no monetary compensation for this post, and the opinions expressed here are only mine. This post contains affiliate links.